Being a third year RA, I've definitely learned a lot, and for someone who wasn't even going to apply for the position, I'm so glad I did. For anyone who wants to make a difference on a college campus, definitely apply to be an RA.
With fall getting colder as you settle into cruise control through the rest of your first semester of college, you may think you've already figured it all out. Perhaps you have, but chances are you are making one of these terribly risky mistakes -- if not all five.
Do you remember that all-nighter you pulled senior year of high school because your essay was due the next morning? Or that time you crammed for a test, even though your teacher gave you weeks to prepare?
Now my daughter is in college, just starting her freshman year. She doesn't call home every day, only every other day. But we text a lot... well, roughly constantly. But never during class and I didn't hear from her when she went to the movies the other night.
Your isolation may feel permanent; it may become hard to imagine a future in which you've found your place. It may feel like cold comfort to hear that adjusting takes time, but it's the truth. I've been there.
We try not to judge because we all started out as freshmen, but we can't help ourselves from laughing when we see a group 18-year-olds still sporting their high school t-shirts heading towards the dining hall like a hungry pack of wolves.
For the past 20 years, I've been directing orientation programs for incoming college freshmen. All of a sudden, I am the on the other side of the equation -- I am the new face -- a little nervous, but eager to get started.
What no one tells you about the "promised land" of higher education is that it is wonderful, but it is not always an easy place to navigate. Moving away from home for the first time is scary, and it is okay to be scared.
If you have spent the last 18 years building a strong bond with your child, then he/she likely has a strong inner core thanks to the trust and confidence you have helped him/her gain throughout the years.
Looking back on my own freshman year, there are a ton of things I wish I'd known; they would've saved me a lot of anxiety and confusion. So, college freshmen, here's what you need to know before you head here in three months.